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Baseball: Twins Beat Athletics, Advance in Race for Central Division Title


In baseball's American League, the Minnesota Twins beat the Oakland Athletics, 9-4 Monday, edging closer to the slumping Detroit Tigers in a tight race for the Central division title and a playoff berth.

Michael Cuddyer and Torri Hunter homered for the Twins, who have moved from 12 games back to one and a half games behind the Tigers since the All-Star break.

The Chicago White Sox trimmed the Los Angeles Angels, 3-2, in a late game on the West Coast. Other winners were the Yankees and Blue Jays.

The National League also had a light schedule Monday. The Marlins, Cubs, Cardinals, Pirates and Nationals picked up wins.

In Miami, the Florida Marlins bombed the New York Mets, 16-5. Cody Ross had three homers and seven runs batted in, and pitcher Anibal Sanchez followed up his no-hit game last week by allowing just four hits over seven innings.

The Chicago Cubs brightened a dismal road trip with an 8-3 win over the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs got their fourth win in the past 22 games on two home runs by Derrek Lee and a three-run shot by Jacque Jones.

The St. Louis Cardinals' Chris Carpenter pitched a six-hit shutout against the visiting Houston Astros, 7-0. The Pittsburgh Pirates outlasted the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3, and the Washington Nationals nipped the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-6, in Phoenix, thanks to a bases-loaded walk for Jose Vidro in the ninth inning.

The New York Yankees exploded for six seventh-inning runs in a 9-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles. Shortstop Derek Jeter now has hit safely in 21 games - a career best - and the victory pushed the Yankees' lead over the sagging Boston Red Sox to 10.5 games.

In Seattle, Washington, the Toronto Blue Jays breezed to a 6-2 win over the Mariners.

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